How to avoid thieves and robbers - Travel Security Safety Tips

How to stop your wallet being taken from your pocket. This tip is very simple and effective. Buy a cheap plastic bendy comb. Put it into the fold of your wallet in your pocket with the teeth facing up towards the entrance of the pocket (this is very important).

NYPD police car photo

If a pickpocket bangs into you and tries to remove your wallet the comb's teeth will catch and make it difficult for them to remove it. This worked for me in Paris on the Metro. Another tip is to use a safety pin to reduce the size of your trouser pocket.

No pickpocket will then be able to slide your wallet out of that pocket. You can also use a thick rubber band around your wallet. This will ensure that you will FEEL if someone is picking your pocket with the friction of the rubber band against the material of your trouser pocket as they try to relieve you of the wallet.

Make sure you always keep your wallet in a front trouser pocket (not in your inside jacket pocket or your back trouser pocket). Since the front of your thighs are very sensitive, it's difficult for the pickpocket to get it out without you knowing.

Men take a tip from the drug dealers

The drug dealers of London carry their drugs wrapped in cling film in small string bags that they find in washing tablet boxes. They then tie the draw string cord at the top of the bag to the drawstring attached to their boxer shorts.

If you need to take some cash with you to the beach put it in a small water-tight sealed plastic bag and then put that in the string bag inside your shorts attached to the drawstring.

The dummy wallet

Carry your cash and documents in secret zipped pocket or carry a 'mugger's wallet'. If you are unlucky to get held up at knife point give them your ‘muggers wallet’ and not the real one containing the main wad of your cash and your bank cards.

Put a few low value notes in the dummy wallet with a few items other items like company cards, receipts, and hotel coupons. Use it day-to-day for minor expenses, but in an emergency I can surrender it easily. Hopefully the robber will be happy with that and make off.

Tip to Remember Luggage Lock Combination new

Use luggage locks on your baggage while travelling. It is a good idea to email the combination code of the lock to your email. This way if you forget the number, when you arrive at your destination, all you have to do to open it is log onto your email.

Keep your Handbag / Purse safe in Cafes

Place Christmas type bells on your Handbag / Purse when sitting down at a restaurant. When someone tries to move it, you will hear the jingling bells. When standing around or sitting drinking coffee, keep your foot through the strap or put the strap around the table leg.

If someone drops something, or something happens, look at your backpack. This may be a diversion to steal your backpack or handbag / purse. This is the biggest type of theft suffered by tourists. It is very avoidable.

The cafe table cover up

Thieves pay attention to what tourists put on the tables in cafes and restaurants. They aim to steal it by distracting you and covering the object up as they move off. The classic is where they target a mobile cell phone or wallet. They will approach the table and pretend to trip whilst holding a newspaper.

To steady themselves they have to hold your table. They may be very well dressed and carrying a copy of the times newspaper. They are very apologetic as they move away holding your belongings hidden under the newspaper.

Another trick is they pretend to be tourists themselves and put a map on your table over your phone, camera or purse, whilst asking directions. You will not notice that they have taken them, hidden under the map, until it is too late.

Doorstop protection

When staying in hotels, be sure to bring your own rubber doorstopper. Lodge the doorstopper from the inside, for added security. Never open the door when someone knocks unexpectedly. Ask who it is first then say to them you are just going to check their identity with the front desk by phone before you answer the door.

Ground Floor Rooms Are Not the safest

When checking into a hotel, request a room that is not on the first floor (if possible). Rooms that have sliding doors leading into a pool area are nice, but they increase your risk of being broken into.

Look Like a Local

Try not to look like a tourist. Wear plain clothes that won't give the impression you are carrying money or valuables. Leave jewellery at home - including rings and watches. Buy a cheap watch just for travel - you only need to have the correct time while on a trip!

Try to avoid T shirts and clothing with designer logos. In third world countries do not rent expensive cars like Mercs and BMW's. You will be come a car thief's target. Rent a standard saloon or hatchback.

Public Toilets

Use a toilet cubicle next to a wall. You can put all of your bags and things between the wall and your leg. It minimizes the risk of someone reaching under from the next toilet to take things, and takes away the hassle of having things on your lap while trying to go to the toilet.

Do not hang items on the door hook. Thieves can reach over and take your things whilst you have your underwear around your ankles.

Scare a Mugger or Thief Away

Robbers do not like witnesses. If you are attacked blow a loud whistle or set off a personal electronic security alarm. There are lots of different types. Some you can wear around your neck.

Is It Really Bottled Water?

Always check that the bottle water you buy has the screw top seals still in place. A big con is that old bottles are collected and refilled with contaminated tap water. In a restaurant, ask for a bottle of water UNOPENED. Have them open it at the table, and you can be sure you won't get local water ... bottled.

Bras are great hiding places ...

Ladies put paper money in your bra. If you get held up and asked to turn our your pockets and bags they will not find this money. Bras with removable demi-pads are great for carrying money. Just remove the pads and slip the money inside the pockets.